Simplified Structure: The P-P-P Method for Advantages in Debate

debate Aug 18, 2023

In the realm of competitive K-12 debate, it's not just about the words you say, but how you structure your arguments. While the traditional uniqueness-link-impact format has been the backbone of structuring advantages in debate, many judges find it hard to intuitively grasp what it means (especially the first two terms).

We'd like to offer a fresh perspective that simplifies the process without sacrificing the educational benefits. Welcome to the world of "Problem-Proposal-Potential": a transformative approach that ensures your arguments are not only compelling but also intuitively understandable to both expert judges and non-expert audiences.

Problem: Unveiling the Status Quo

Imagine stepping into a debate where you're tasked with advocating for change. The first step is identifying the problem at hand – the current state of affairs that needs attention. In the Problem phase, you present a clear picture of what's happening in the status quo. This not only informs the audience about the existing situation but also highlights the harms that are left unaddressed. Demonstrating that there are issues that won't naturally resolve themselves is crucial for persuading the audience that your proposal holds value.

Proposal: Charting a New Course

Transitioning seamlessly from the Problem phase, you enter the Proposal phase. This is where the magic happens – your chance to shine light on your plan for change. Just as the link establishes the connection between the uniqueness and impact in the traditional format, the Proposal is the bridge between the Problem and the Potential. It outlines precisely how your plan will alter the current situation or address the identified problem. Here, you lay out the specifics, presenting the steps you intend to take to bring about positive change.

Potential: Crafting a Brighter Future

With the Problem understood and the Proposal in place, it's time to unveil the Potential – the heart of your persuasive argument. In this phase, you illustrate the impact your proposal holds. By assuming that the issues presented in the Problem phase will be alleviated or resolved by your plan, you create a vision of a brighter future. This is the moment to convey the positive outcomes your proposal can achieve, capturing the imagination of your audience and inspiring them to see your perspective.

Unveiling the Power of Simplification

The Problem-Proposal-Potential framework provides a straightforward, memorable, and accessible structure for your arguments. No longer do you need to resort to complex terminology or convoluted explanations to make your point. This approach ensures that both the seasoned judge and the lay audience can follow your line of reasoning without missing a beat.

You might even choose to rephrase the framework as "Problem, Plan, Positives," if that resonates more with you. The underlying principle is to keep things simple, accessible, and memorable, all while upholding the rigorous logic that debate demands.

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